So many Septembers have found me writing about the Summer to Fall transition. The shift seems to rouse something large and stirring and overwhelming yet intangible in the very air of our home. The slow sprawling of the warmer months breaks with the chill breezes sneaking in, surprising, waking us like a playful pinch. New bright colors in the foliage pique attention where the green veil of a million leaves provided camouflage to the easiness of wandering days.
Productive urgency becomes more profound with the shortening of each day. Less light, less time, but more alive. Where we lulled the hours away in the joy of easy time, we now desire action and outcomes. Summer is hibernation. The promise of winter brings ambition. My inner hustler whispers fiercely that the time is NOW.
With our little folk back to school and my working hours reclaimed, I’m now shaking out the dust and readying my equipment for many shutter clicks. The coming cold days have me anticipating cozy days of creative work in the studio playing with lights, styling sets, and capturing that perfect shine in your eye. Of writing journal posts and linking words to images. I see ahead bundled days capturing that gorgeous slanted winter light cast across cheekbones and setting halos afire in your hair. I can’t wait to see what projects you have for me, dear clients and friends.
So bring me your lovely faces, your stuff, your products. I mean, c’mon, EVERYTHING needs to be photographed these days, right? Let me do it properly for you. There’s a big difference between a phone shot and a carefully styled, lit, photographed and edited image that you will want to keep forever. Not that there’s anything wrong with the ease and convenience of phone cameras. I use mine all the time for everyday moments. But for that archival portrait or that perfect product shot that you want to stand up to time and scrutiny, not just a swipe through social media, the answer is professional photography. These hands, these eyes are itching with kinetic energy. I’m poised to restart the engine here in the studio so contact me to get in the books and get that photo project going.
The people in these images are some of my favorite humans on the planet. I had a chance to photograph them while they were in Portland for a visit. They wanted some updated, simple, and clean headshots. We delivered on that imaging need, but were also able to nudge them a little out of their comfort zone. They tapped into their inner supermodel, their personal blue steel. It was a gift to catch a glimpse of the driven, confident creatures underneath that practically crackle with strength and character. Their willingness to be open and play made the process a total treat.
It’s all an experiment really. Photography. Life. So much of my time is trying, failing, trying, failing, trying, success. A hundred mistakes add up to one satisfying image. Yes, it’s a slog. Yes, it’s worth it.
So many musical icons passing this year has had me looking back to the places they started. Whether Bowie or Phife or Prince, it was the raw groundbreaking sounds that hit you in the head and heart. It was the ignoring of the rules to make something so special that a bazillion people stopped to take notice. Music that defined my younger years. Punctuating events and feelings long forgotten, that rise up out of the blur of time when a particular song plays. Music that even now catches the ears of my 10 year old kid and has him singing the songs at the top of his lungs in the shower. That’s some serious timeless power driven by relentless unapologetic creativity.
Each time one of those artists that once caught and kept my musical loyalty passes, it’s like a little stone of memory embeds itself in my brain. I feel the heaviness and the heat of it. A little calcification that forms connections to whatever lobe is dedicated to that part of me that loves photography so much. Each stone feeds strength to my resolve to keep pushing past what I already know and go further with my work.
It’s not that I imagine myself being the Prince of portrait photography, though that’s a hilarious image and maybe fodder for my next Halloween costume. I wish I was a genius to whom all the answers were naturally occurring bubbles of intuition emerging at the pivotal moment when needed. But the reality is that it is all in the work…and the many mistakes…and in more work that I dig out solutions and maybe create something worth viewing. So I can only allow inspiration to wash freely through me to find that fearless and focused conduit to making my vision come to life without all the analysis of the selling power of images. Without the panic and paralysis of worrying that I’m just making a mess of it all. Without question it is an image-maker’s singularity that draws clients in this ever-saturated market. Therefore money is not the quarry that must be chased, but rather the authentic interpretation and expression of my vision of photography. The truth for me is that I’m either moving toward that or I’m not moving at all. There really isn’t an in-between.
Sometimes though…sometimes you have to go backward a bit before you can leap beyond the place you stand now. Sometimes stripping things back to very basic elements bestirs the creative pot and reawakens critical thinking. These images were made during a lighting class that I took recently. It was good to learn a new approach and to gain another perspective on portrait making. Not to mention getting to be around other photo nerds and sitting through critiques. The simplicity of focusing only on a few elements, meaning light and light behavior, and ignoring for a bit the complications of creative conceptualization, was an efficacious way to give my brain a much needed reset.
Inevitably I’m sure to set myself spinning in all directions once again. I’ll look up a have no idea where I am or how I got stuck there. Happily I know I can find my way back through these elements: inspiration, hard work, and a return to basics.
If there is one thing you can say for Jourdan Photo, it is that we are eclectic. We’ll pretty much shoot anything for you. Faces, families, flowers, clothing, products, places, you name it. Should a client approach us to photograph their towering pile of laundry, we might think to ourselves that it was really weird, but we would get down to business figuring out how to best capture those dirty clothes in an interesting way.
From our point of view, no matter the subject, we are creating a portrait. A representation of the essence of the person or item in front of the lens. There is lighting to consider, angles, styling, locations. Not to mention the technical aspects of the camera itself. It all adds up to draw out character & individuality.
Photography is like a big puzzle, both challenging and exhilarating when everything starts falling into place.
So when opportunities to shoot Real Estate Photography started popping up, we didn’t hesitate to take on the new subject matter. After all, homes are all about the stories playing out within them and the sheltering of what is most precious to the people living those stories. That has “portrait” written all over it.
Plus, you know, the housing market here in Portland is super hot right now. So, yeah.
Photographing homes for sale is all about giving house seekers the idea of the potential within those walls. The promise of a new start. How great their own couch would look by that big picture window. How they would sit there with cup of coffee and watch the world go by. Imagining cooking great meals in that kitchen. How exactly could they arrange their bedroom furniture or hang their art? The idea is that the images spark daydreams of what could be. It might be a romantic perspective, but we’re stickin’ to it.
Happy hunting house buyers! We hope that some of our images help you find your way home.
Diving into this realm of photography has been an exciting addition to our repertoire. We look forward to opportunities to do more.
Friends, I’m happy to tell you that the Small Business Feature is back! As a small business owner myself, part of my commitment is to give back to the community. For me, this means showing off some of the amazing people that make up our home grown entrepreneurs serving up wares and wonders right in our own stomping grounds. These are the folks that are fully invested in the communities they accommodate with ardor and heart. Please give the feature a full read and then scoot on over to the company website to learn more and support small & local.
Meet Pick Your Dish, founded and owned by the incredible Eleissa Buddress. This lady can seriously cook and she wants you and yours gathering around her food at your very own table. You know those crazy days when you’re aching for a home-cooked meal, but your day just won’t allow the time or space to make it happen? Enter Pick Your Dish. With an itty bitty bit of planning, you’re most frenetic of days can be punctuated with a delicious, downright belly-warming meal for you and your people. Just order, pickup, reheat and eat. Then fall into food-coma with a delighted smile on your face.
I got the privilege to tag along for a day to check out how it all goes down at a communal kitchen where Eleissa crafts good eats for her customers. The menu selections change every week, and always include gluten free and vegetarian options. That particular day it was Spaghetti Pie with a Green Salad, and Pulled Pork with Polenta or Coleslaw. I got to sample the Spaghetti Pie which was insanely scrumptious and satisfying. The noodles were perfectly al dente and the sauce a mouthwatering creamy red, either meat or veg.
Believe me when I say that each dish is assembled with love, laughter, and special care for the person’s table for which it is intended. Try it to ease a busy evening or just to give yourself a well deserved break!
The system is simple:
- Order your meal options by midnight on Thursday for the following week’s delivery.
- Pick up your prepared meals from one of the convenient delivery points.
- Share a relaxed, delicious and freshly prepared meal.
Eleissa’s PICK YOUR BISCUITS are a staple at my family’s Thanksgiving table and they just happen to be a special add on to this weeks menu! Don’t miss them!
In her own words…..
How long has this business existed?
What service or product do you provide?
Freshly-made dinners, that our customers just need to reheat and eat.
What motivated you to start or acquire your business?
My family and a love of cooking…but it wasn’t until my 10 year sabbatical from Nike that I had the chance to step away from the corporate world for a bit and realize how much I craved spending more time in the kitchen. Plus, I wanted to have a schedule that would allow me more flexibility when it came to the girls.
I’ve always enjoyed cooking, but when we had our girls, I really started thinking deliberately about the foods we were putting into our bodies. About that same time, Nate started commuting to Eugene; so 2-3 nights per week, it was up to me to feed two kiddos when we got home from a long day at work/preschool. Since I wasn’t content to buy premade meals or hit the drive-thru or some other form of take-out, I started meal planning and cooking on the weekends and evenings, so that I could simply reheat dinner when we got home each night. This enabled us to have more quality time together in the evenings, without the stress and mess.
If your business crafts a product(s), what are the particular characteristics of the materials, ingredients, processes, etc. that make the product(s) exceptional?
The meal plan for Pick Your Dish is largely influenced by tried and true dishes that we have at the Buddress table, so we are always making meals that we love to eat. At the same time, we need feedback from our customers, so we can strive to keep the menu constantly evolving. An emphasis is definitely on sourcing our ingredients locally and/or organically, then crafting balanced meals (almost all with a vegetarian and gluten free option). Every week when the orders are compiled and the work is planned, we don’t just see deliveries…we see the faces of our customers and we begin to understand why they’ve come to us.
What keeps you excited and driven each day?
Seeing the relief on people’s faces when I hand over their dinner…for most people, just knowing dinner is covered is HUGE! It’s also super important to me that we gather as a family around the dinner table most nights, which is why I was never on board with feeding the kids first or making them something different than we were eating. Fortunately, I have great, adventurous eaters…but they certainly have opinions and give me lots of feedback! Plus, I think it’s pretty awesome to share this journey with my family, especially our girls…to show them that it might take some time to find your passion and what you were meant to do, but that it is possible, with a lot of commitment and hard work!!
What is special about the community you serve?
We have such diversity in our customers…everything from families, to busy professionals, to empty-nesters, to those working through health or other challenges, to folks who just plainly don’t like to cook.
How does your business give back to that community?
We donate gift certificates to auctions and a variety of fundraising events in the community, but this is an area in which we’d love to expand.
Do you collaborate with other small businesses and how?
Since we work in a commissary kitchen – which means that it is a shared space for a variety of food service businesses – we have several ‘instant’ sources for inspiration and collaboration. We offer Souper Natural soups each week, so our customers can supplement their orders with fresh and healthy soups. We utilize several flavors of pepper jelly from Rose City Pepperheads to enhance dishes like our pork tenderloin with homemade applesauce. And our meat is sourced through the Meating Place. Coming up this year, we have plans to collaborate with Tone F1tness as well as Twisted Oats (granola makers, also in the S&H kitchen).
What do you see for the future of your business?
World domination. 😉
Seriously though, I’d love to grow to the point that we have demand in different markets/locales across Portland. In the next year, I’d like to be able to hire staff to assist in the logistics involved in that growth – from food prep all the way through to delivery.
What do you most want people to know about your business?
We are here to enable folks to savor a freshly-prepared, delicious meal without mess and stress.
As always, Friends, thanks so much for reading. Get yourself some good eats and support small & local!
The human experience is so much more than that, of course. All the first everythings, from steps to teeth, from bike riding to driving. First loves. First heartbreaks. First one-too-manys. Discoveries. First glimmers of finding your life’s purpose. Failures, achievements, stumbles, and exhilarating adventures. The friendships, the loves, the family, and all the little invisible ties drawing people together. The roller coaster of parenthood. Lean times. Abundance. The drift into wisdom and enlightenment. The sharing of knowledge. All the joy. All the pain. The moments of peace. The legacy.
Everything that makes a human’s distinct story. One in a bazillion, but precious none the less. It all starts here, in the arms of those who love you most fiercely and completely.
(Bazillion is totally a word, by the way)
This family’s narrative began about the same time that Jourdan Photo was established. There is a thread of their story meandering through the images in the Portrait Gallery. It has been a joy and honor to document some of the highlights thus far, to be connected to their adventures in this small way.
The chronicle of each little life is what is at the heart of portraiture. There are infinite stories out there, and let’s face it, a bazillion (no really, it’s a word! I swear.) photographs. Which tells Your story? Which will be valued by Your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren? It’s not in a digital file, thumbed through ages ago, and long forgotten. It exists in a home, on a wall, with the ones who knew you or wish they could have, seen daily and revered. Let there be a tangible piece of art that they can point to and share what was most amazing about the life you lived.
Each human experience is remarkable in its own singular way. There is a story there. Let’s tell it.